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Keegan’s story

A teenage boy is sitting in a hospital bed. He has a blue and white striped monkey toy sitting on his left shoulder and a sloth toy on his knee.
07 August 2023

There’s a naughty monkey staying at Sheffield Children’s at the moment, and he belongs to one of our lovely patients – Keegan!

You can usually find Keegan exploring all kinds of exciting National Trust locations in the Peak District and beyond where he loves running around, discovering nature, and using up lots of the energy he has. Keegan also loves drinking cups of tea with his mum and grandma, seeing his friends and teachers at school, and hanging out with his blue and white striped monkey – who is responsible for all the cheeky things that happen in Keegan’s life!

On a recent trip out in South Yorkshire, Keegan – who is autistic and has ADHD and epilepsy – became distressed whilst walking up some spiral stairs. This led to him running and falling from the top of a high building. Keegan was brought to Sheffield Children’s with a broken ankle, shattered pelvis and a minor spinal fracture. He spent some time on our ICU before having two surgeries and then moving to Ward 2 where he has been recovering well since.

Zoe, Keegan’s mum, said: “We say to Keegan all the time that he’s a super star. When he had his accident we think he was trying to be Super Man instead! There were lots of brilliant and kind people who helped on the day of the accident – an off duty police officer who was on a trip out sprang into action to help and then the Mountain Rescue team and ambulance crew quickly followed.”

Whilst he’s been recovering Keegan has had visits from his teachers at school and they can’t believe that he has been so still in his hospital bed for nearly six weeks.

Zoe said: “Normally Keegan finds it incredibly difficult to sit still, he has to have lots of structure and visual timetables to be able to concentrate for a very short amount of time so the fact he has not moved from this bed is unbelievable. We think it might be because he launched out of bed soon after his surgery and was instantly in a lot of pain. He went white as a sheet and he’s realised that when the nurses say he can get out, or he can’t, he has to listen to them.”

Technology has been a brilliant distraction for Keegan whilst he’s been in hospital and has helped keep him entertained over the last few weeks.

Kevin, Play Specialist at Sheffield Children’s, said: “Keegan and his family have done an amazing job of staying positive throughout their hospital stay and Keegan’s found a new love of watching films. I know how beneficial technology is for young people like Keegan and it’s been brilliant to see him enjoying using the tablet we found for him. We’ve got into a good system where one tablet charges whilst the other is used so that Keegan always has the option to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks!”

All being well, Keegan will be heading home soon. It’ll be another four to six months before Keegan’s cage comes off his ankle though, so Zoe is having to think about how to best to keep him occupied when he’s not at school:

“I’m a bit nervous about the autumn and winter. We’d usually go out lots but that will be difficult because we can’t get a shoe or sock on his right leg and Keegan can’t use crutches which is what other children sometimes do. We’ve got the wheelchair thankfully and yesterday we were able to go for a walk with Keegan in the chair. We were heading to the park but it started raining on the way so we decided to slip into a pub for brownies and ice cream instead! Winter might have to involve a bit more of that, and watching telly – if Keegan can sit still for long enough.”

We’re very glad that you’re on the mend Keegan, and we hope that naughty monkey doesn’t get you in any more trouble any time soon!

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